I'm an American nurse (Cali gal) currently working in Jeddah,Saudi Arabia on a 1 year contract. To the original poster, only male doctors are allowed to bring family members with them. All others are provided single female or male studio apartment housing, and we all live on one huge complex. My apartment is very quiet. So here's the run down...
the hospital is nice
Women can't drive here, you WILL not miss it trust me lol
english speaking employees from different countries (America, India, Egypt, Austrailia, New Zealand, UK, large number from the Phillipines)
General salary is $68,000 (tax free)set by hospital, not agency
53 days of vacation per year
Single studio apartments on beautiful grounds with pool, jacuzzi, gym, nail salon, small convenience store, tennis court, swimming lessons
All utilities paid
Free shuttle buses for transport to work, shopping (16 different malls and souks)
inexpensive car service/cab available
no safety issues (this city is very laid back and cool)
its not like on CNN, its very modern, esp the malls, same stores as U.S.
nurses scuba dive ALOT here
social club offered at the hospital to book activities
we have cell phones and cable satellite
We don't have to wear our hair covered but do have to wear an abaya(robe) when not on apt complex or hospital grounds
The ratios are the same here as back home, but most of the units do primary nursing. We have to rotate shifts from day to night every 3 weeks, or you can have a shift buddy if you prefer so you can swap during rotation. I prefer day shift so when its time to rotate, I keep her day shift and she can stay on night shift permanently. We wear all white uniforms, provided by the hospital, except O.R. wears green scrubs
. Most of the patients speak arabic but have a family member that speaks english, or we have a coordinator to grab to translate.
I know people think its not worth it, but trust me pocketing $70 k and not paying rent,insurance, or utilities for a year is SOOOOO WORTH IT!! My salary in California is $89k/year, but I never see it between taxes, rent, bills, etc.
Also I get to travel to nearby places like Egypt and Dubai without using my vacation time. I've made some great friends from other countries and learned alot. Most of the girls I've met here came on a one year contract but ended up staying for alot longer , anywhere from 4-10 years. If you don't like it here you always have the option to break your contract and leave, but you have to pay for your airfare home.
When you first get here, you don't go straight to work. You have classroom orientation for almost 2 weeks, then 2 weeks of floor orientation. I must say I'm not in love with primary nursing, but I guess American nurses are a bit spoiled lol. My coworkers are all friendly so I enjoy my unit. However, there is no such thing as home health, palliative, or hospice care. Well, only some of the richer families can afford home health, so you may find patients refusing to be discharged after the doctor has cleared them to go home. The government picks up the tab so the hospital lets them stay. Sometimes for years...Anyway, overall I love my experience here so far. I hope I've answered your questions with my small novel :-)